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The Smart Side Hustler: 47 Uncommon Ways Real People Make Money Online
Looking for unique ways to make extra money online? You’re not alone. With the gig economy on the rise, more people are discovering creative side hustles that leverage technology to generate income.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 47 smart, uncommon side hustles real people use to make money from home. Whether you want to start a side business, make some quick cash, or build a passive income stream, you’re sure to find inspiring ideas to get started.
Why Side Hustle in the First Place?
Let’s first look at the key reasons why side hustling has become so popular:
- Earn extra money – Topping up your regular income, saving for a goal, or building long-term wealth. A side hustle gives you the power to control your finances.
- Gain freedom and flexibility – Work when you want, take time off whenever, and ditch the 9-5 grind. A side hustle offers freedom of time and location.
- Do meaningful work – Make money by sharing your passions and skills. Choosing your own side hustle means doing work you love.
- Explore new opportunities – Test out business ideas or develop skills without too much risk. Use side income to pave the way to bigger things.
- Increase stability – Extra income feeds your savings account and gives you a safety net in uncertain times. Reduce dependence on a single income stream.
- Improve quality of life – Earn more to upgrade your lifestyle, enjoy experiences, or reduce stress. Financial gains can enhance life in many ways.
If these benefits speak to you, read on to uncover uncommon ways real people earn online.
10 Uncommon Content Creation Side Hustles
Let’s start with opportunities for those who love writing, design, photography, and other creative skills. These content creation side hustles let you make money by producing blog posts, videos, graphics, and more.
1. Ghostwrite Blog Posts
Ghostwriting means creating blog content for others under their name. As a ghostwriter, you can charge up to $200 per post once you build a portfolio and client base. Ghostwriting lets you earn good money as a freelance writer across any niche.
2. Create Stock Photos
By taking high-quality photos and listing them on stock photo sites like Shutterstock, you can earn royalties when people purchase or download them. Nature, lifestyle, business, and hobby photos tend to sell well.
3. Design Pinterest Graphics
Many brands pay freelancers to create eye-catching graphics for their Pinterest and social media accounts. If you have graphic design skills, this presents an easy recurring income stream.
4. Voice Over Work
Recording custom voice overs for videos, ads, and more can pay $30 to $100 per hour. Offer your services on Fiverr to land gigs. A clear voice and home studio are all you need to start.
5. Sell Video Testimonials
Build a portfolio of video testimonials for brands you love. Then use the content to pitch to similar companies who will pay $300+ for an authentic branded video testimonial.
6. Transcribe Audio Files
Put your typing skills to work by offering transcription services online. Transcribing audio or video content pays around $1 per minute of audio. Accuracy and fast typing speed are key.
7. Create How-To Videos
Teach a skill, share a recipe, or offer advice in short online videos. Monetize via YouTube ads or by selling courses expanding on your content. Useful how-to videos can earn you passive income.
8. Write Newsletter Content
Businesses will pay for expertly written content for their email newsletters. Study their brand voice and past newsletters. Then pitch personalized ideas to integrate their products or services.
9. Local Photography Services
Offer local photography services like headshots, family portraits, and real estate photoshoots. List your specialty packages on community boards and social media to book clients.
10. Design Engaging Social Media Posts
Many brands hire freelancers to create social media posts with attention-grabbing images, graphics, and copy. Offer done-for-you content creation services to save them time.
7 Uncommon Online Sales Side Hustles
For the sales savvy, plenty of side hustle opportunities exist to earn commissions promoting products, services and platforms online.
11. Resell Thrift Store Finds
Source unique vintage and collectible items from thrift stores to resell on eBay or niche marketplaces. Clothing, jewelry, retro tech and antique finds can sell for big markups.
12. Promote Affiliate Products
Earn commissions promoting other company’s products on your website, social media or YouTube. Amazon, ShareASale, and CJ Affiliate have thousands of affiliate offers.
13. Sell Digital Downloads
Create templates, online courses, photo filters, sticker packs, guides or more to sell as digital downloads. List them on your own site or sell via online marketplaces.
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14. Dropship Products
Sell trendy products from manufacturers who handle shipping them directly to customers. List them on Shopify or Etsy without needing any inventory.
15. Resell Sneakers and Streetwear
Use bots and insider access to score limited release sneakers and streetwear. Then resell them on sites like StockX and GOAT where hypebeasts will pay top dollar.
16. Sell Handmade Crafts
Offer specialized crafts like candles, jewelry, paper goods, knitted items and more on Etsy or at local markets. Homemade creations appeal to many gift shoppers.
17. Online Personal Shopping
For a commission, offer personalized online shopping services helping people find gifts and other items. Guide clients via video chat or share screens to provide a custom experience.
5 Uncommon Tech Side Hustles
Next up are savvy side hustles in technology that let you profit from your skills as a developer, hacker, or tech enthusiast.
18. Build Custom Apps
Develop and sell specialized apps for businesses or consumers based on requests. Offer both native iOS and Android development skills for the widest market.
19. Provide Technical Support
Offer remote tech support services for common issues like fixing printer problems, removing viruses, speeding up computers, recovering lost data and more.
20. Develop Browser Extensions
Create handy browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, etc. to streamline workflows or enhance websites. Earn passive income when users download your extensions.
21. Website Flipping
Buy up domain names related to trending topics or products. Quickly build basic sites around those domains. Then sell the sites for a profit.
22. Cryptocurrency Mining
Use spare computing power to mine Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. Join a mining pool to combine resources and share rewards.
7 Uncommon Finance Side Hustles
If you’re a numbers whiz, consider these profitable side hustles providing specialized financial services.
23. Tax Preparation
Offer tax prep services during filing season. Market to families, individuals, and small business owners in your area. Learn the latest tax codes to provide up-to-date services.
Provide bookkeeping services like payroll, invoicing, financial reporting, and more for startups and small businesses. Cloud software makes it easy to offer remote services.
25. Tax Resolution Services
Help people resolve past due taxes by setting up payment plans, filing amended returns, and negotiating settlements. Charge reasonable fees to help clients get tax relief.
26. Credit Repair Consulting
Help clients identify errors or discrepancies on their credit reports and teach them to dispute items and improve their credit. Charge monthly fees and get certified.
27. Consult On Investments
Offer personalized investment and trading advice based on extensive market knowledge. Charge hourly consulting fees or percentages of managed capital.
28. Process Medical Billing Claims
Submit and follow up on insurance claims for healthcare providers to ensure maximum reimbursement. Medical billing services earn around $25 per hour.
29. Tax Lien Investing
Research and invest in tax lien certificates, which allow you to collect interest and penalties when property owners pay overdue property taxes.
5 Uncommon Education Side Hustles
Teachers, tutors, coaches, and subject matter experts can profit from their ability to educate others online.
30. Teach English to Non-Native Speakers
Tutor international students online in conversational English. Companies like VIPKid connect tutors with students and provide lesson plans.
31. Self-Publish Online Courses
Create online courses teaching your expertise via video lessons. Sell access on your own site or platforms like Udemy which handle marketing and deliver your course.
32. One-on-One Tutoring
Offer virtual tutoring services in academic subjects, computer skills, languages, musical instruments and more. Use Skype or other video chat platforms to give lessons online.
33. Resume and Cover Letter Editing
Help job seekers perfect their resumes and cover letters to get more interviews and job offers. Charge by project or offer different tiers of review services.
34. College Admissions Essay Editing
Provide coaching and editing services to help high school students craft compelling college admissions and scholarship essays. Charge per hour or per essay.
6 Uncommon Gig Economy Side Hustles
Apps and gig platforms provide easy ways to put your skills to use with these on-demand side hustles.
35. Rent Your Car Out
Apps like Turo let you rent out your car when you aren’t using it. Set your own rates, availability, and minimum rental periods to earn passive income.
36. Assemble Furniture
Offer assembly services for furniture and other items purchased online. Find local clients via apps like TaskRabbit who will provide parts and pay hourly.
37. Deliver Groceries
Sign up for Instacart to shop for and deliver groceries from local stores. Choose your own schedule. Earn tips and boost income with peak bonuses.
38. Walk Dogs
Apps like Wag and Rover connect local pet sitters and dog walkers with pet owners. Set your own rates and schedule. Read profiles to find your perfect furry clients.
39. Run Errands
List yourself on TaskRabbit or similar platforms offering local delivery and errand running services. Easy tasks like picking up dry cleaning can pay well.
40. Assemble Meal Kits
Apps like Uber Eats hire at-home workers to assemble restaurant meal kits with ingredients provided. Get paid per kit assembled at a flexible pace.
5 Uncommon Medical Side Hustles
Those with medical skills and experience can provide specialized services as a lucrative side business.
41. Medical Transcription
Convert doctor’s audio notes into written reports for medical staff and insurance companies. Transcription ability and healthcare knowledge are required.
42. Medical Billing
Use medical coding expertise to submit insurance claims and bills for healthcare providers. Help ensure accurate reimbursements. This works remotely.
43. Counsel People Online
Offer teletherapy counseling services via chat, video, phone, or messaging. List your specialty areas like marriage counseling or grief counseling.
44. Tutor Aspiring Nurses
Help nursing students prep for exams and refresh concepts from nursing school. Use practice questions and study guides to coach them online.
45. Sell Custom Compression Socks
Create and sell fashion-forward compression socks for nurses, pregnant women, travelers and more via sites like Etsy. Provide sizing guidance.
5 More Smart Side Hustles to Consider
Rounding out our list are a handful of diverse, creative ways real people earn money on the side.
46. Rent Out Parking Spaces
Apps like JustPark let you rent out unused parking spaces by the hour or day. Passively earn from an idle asset. Ideal for urban areas with limited parking.
47. Sell 3D Printables
Upload 3D printable digital models you create to sites like Shapeways and Pinshape. Others pay to download and print your unique designs.
48. Develop Mobile Games
Create basic yet addictive mobile games and offer the app for free with optional in-app purchases. Income grows as more play and buy upgrades.
49. Import and Resell Products
Find in-demand products domestically unavailable. Use Fulfillment by Amazon or similar to import and resell products at a markup.
50. Sell Used Books on Amazon
Sell unwanted books to buyers worldwide via Amazon’s book marketplace. Scan ISBN codes to list books quickly. Amazon stores and ships sold books.
51. Start a Podcast
Record a regular podcast sharing your stories and expertise. Monetize with sponsorships, affiliate marketing, or ads once you build an audience.
Choosing Your Smart Side Hustle
With so many options, how do you choose the right side hustle for you? Here are key factors to weigh:
- Skills – Pick an opportunity that leverages your natural strengths and talents. These make your services in-demand.
- Enjoyment – Consider side hustles you’ll find genuinely interesting or fun. Passion projects you like doing have the best longevity.
- Earning Potential – Research the income potential to meet your financial goals. Factor in time commitment and scalability too.
- Startup Costs – Look for side hustles with minimal startup costs and requirements. This reduces risk as you test ideas.
- Learning Curve – Don’t underestimate the effort to gain new skills. Weigh how much time and energy that requires against income potential.
- Competition – Research how competitive and saturated your chosen hustle is to determine if you can succeed. Find open niches whenever possible.
By evaluating side hustles across these key factors, you can zero in on smart options with the highest chance of working for your unique needs and goals.
Turning Side Hustles into Success Stories
While every side hustle journey is different, those who ultimately succeed often share a few key traits:
- Niche focus – They specialize versus going wide. Becoming THE expert in a narrow niche helps attract the perfect clients.
- Premium positioning – They market high-end services and charge accordingly. Quality over quantity.
- Business foundations – They set up proper business structures, insurance, processes, etc. early on rather than improvising.
- Reinvestment – They reinvest a portion of earnings into improving their offerings, skills, and marketing. Compounding results.
- Community – They network with others doing similar work for ideas, feedback, and referrals. A support system is invaluable.
With the right hustle and smart strategies, you can absolutely start generating real income online. Those who seriously pursue side hustles with focus and dedication can ultimately replace their regular job and be self-employed full-time.
Turn Passion into Profit with a Smart Side Hustle
As you’ve seen, options abound for unique ways to make money online. Whether you need extra cash in a pinch or want to test a new career path, side hustles let you profit from your skills and passions on your own terms.
Avoid oversaturated niches and unproven business models. Focus on uncommon side hustles that play to your strengths and fit your lifestyle. By providing real value to customers with a profitable offer, your hustle can become a hugely rewarding endeavor.
With some hustling spirit and the right game plan, you can begin building your ideal income stream online. Soon you’ll be making money in ways that feel genuinely exciting and aligned to who you are. That’s the smart side hustler’s dream!
So which of these uncommon side hustles resonated with you? Let us know in the comments below which ones you find most interesting!
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